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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 October 2007, 10:39 GMT
Over-50s get networking website
Elderly holidaymakers
The Saga Group's products are aimed at people over 50
An internet social networking site, in the style of Facebook and MySpace, has been launched aimed at people over 50.

The Saga Zone site was developed by the Saga Group, based in Folkestone, Kent, which specialises in products and services for the over-50s.

Some 13,000 people signed up to the site, which includes forums on subjects from gardening tips to relationship advice, in a trial four months ago.

Saga said the oldest person so far on the site was aged 87.

Communications watchdog Ofcom said in August its data showed over-50s accounted for 30% of time spent online in the UK.

That generation will never stop eyeball-to-eyeball contact because that's what they like to do
Prof Cary Cooper

Psychology professor Cary Cooper, from the University of Lancaster, said internet communication had its place.

"People retire in different parts of the country and they don't live near their extended family," he said.

"Saga Zone is good because it will engage older people with another technology.

"But that generation will never stop eyeball-to-eyeball contact because that is what they are used to and that's what they like to do.

"And I hope for all of us we don't abandon face-to-face communication.

"Even in offices you see people e-mailing one another three desks down - crazy stuff."

Saga chief executive Andrew Goodsell said: "The internet is a place where the over-50s are thriving.

"Saga Zone is a place where they can mingle and chat about issues important to them, be they amusing or serious."

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